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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading the forums here for some time & am really excited about the Mazda3. But when I went to a dealer to see one in person, they only had a hatchback & I'm interested in the sedan.

Anyway, I did see the Mazda 6 which looks pretty much like the 3 only a bit larger. The interior design is a bit different from the 3, but very classy.

My question is...what is the main reason owners of the 3 have over buying that instead of the 6? Is it the price difference?

I also am very interested in the Navigation option...yet there is very little talk on these boards about it, which I find curious. I would think that would be such a useful (let alone cool) thing to have. I can't seem to find any information on it though. And why isn't it offered on the 6?

Future owner of either the Mazda 3 or 6!
 

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well sorry to sound like an ass, gosh seems like i come sounding like one all the time, but since you've been reading the forums here for some time now, we have discussed this issue....and pretty much everyone has had some input on why they chose the 3.

as for myself, i wanted a compact car, not a midsized sedan...it was cheaper than the 6, and mine was fully loaded...and i think it looks damn good ;) as for the navigation option, use the search feature because i know we've had at least two threads discussing the nav option...:) have a nice day.
 

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there's not hatch version of the 6... even the two new versions (one is sort of like a hatch, the other is like a station wagon, i think) aren't close to the hatch of the 3...
 

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Good choice on not persuing the 5-door.
 

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I actually went to the dealer to get a Mazda6, but after the test drive it just left me feeling empty. I guess it's because I've been driving a 2 door sports coupe for the past 5 years. The car is a big boat to me and it wasn't maneuverable. I'm sure it's better than some of the other cars it its class, like the camry.

Anyways, after a few days, i went back to the dealer and decided to drive the smaller, mazda3 sedan. Man, what a difference, it was so much better. It seemed quick and sporty, definately what i was looking for. A 4-door sedan that still felt like close 2 door sports coupe, for a good price.
 

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Well, I got asked this same question last night. My reply was this:

The mazda3 has a different personallity than the 6. I look at the 6 and think family sedan. I look at the 3 and think sporty 4 door. For me, insurance was a big factor, and if I got the 6, then I wouldn't settle for less than the V6. With the mazda3, the 2.3L is enough for me and the majority here... I went ahead and got the manual too.

It comes down to looks, price, drive, and insurance for me.

Don't go :crazy: you can't loose with either choice
 

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You're missing out on the 3 Hatch but I digress.

In my mind I really liked the 6's styling and the general car itself but I liked the smaller dimensions of the 3, the interior room is good and for the money I get a very feature rich vehicle. To have a Mazda 6 with the options I'd want (V-6 etc.) I'd be looking at easily another $6,000 Cdn over what I paid for my 3.
 

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Ya, another 3s hatch owner here...

Greater utility of the hatch aside, the Mazda3 is a better buy for me than the six due the following reasons:

For what I paid ($17,250 before tax and tags), I would have only been able to afford a 6i with th 4-cylinder engine. The resulting car would have been lacking in acceleration and other little knick-knacks that separates the i and s trims. I don't like owning lower trim model cars.

When I test drove the 6s, it is definitely a larger car with less nimble characteristics. I think the fact that the Mazda6 must aim for a slightly older crowd of consumers necessitated a softer suspension. I never felt the high degree of sharp and precise turn-in that I get from a Mazda3s hatch. With the Mazda3, I can pitch it into a corner, feel the G start to load up, and the steering will be perfectly on-arc and responsive to every fine adjustment I make.

The Mazda6 was the first in a new line of Mazdas. As such Mazda didn't quite have it all down when they put that car together. Specifically, the interior design leaves much to be desired. The gauge cluster's red back-lighting has an uneven, cheap, and hollow effect. The center stack's buttons and knobs have rounded corners that remind me of a GM/Ford/Chrysler product. And that silver paint looks like it came off of a cheap $50 all-in-one stereo. The interior just had a slightly jumbled and confusing feel.

During the test drive, I noticed that the Mazda6's throttle had severe delay in it. Coupled with an engine that has a torque curve that is weak below 3K, it made for a car that is tough to launch and easy to stall. The V6 was also not quite as smooth as I'd have liked, and the car didn't pull as hard as the numbers would have me believe. In the end, I came away from the test drive underwhelmed.

The Mazda6 is what I'd call a good first effort, and the Mazda3 is the 2nd-shot that is a coherent package that is nearly flawless.
 

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good lord you guys...be nice to the 6! it's in the same family, not to mention I own one. But yeah, there are quite a few threads roaming around about this very topic. Benefits of the 3: smaller turning radius, cheaper for fully loaded, smaller car Benefits of the 6: bigger car, v6, and i want to say better handling, but i know that this will cause issues with the 3 people ;), so pretend i didn't say it :lol:. I own a 6, but if I had been in the market for a 4cyl that was an excellent car I would have gotten the 3. However, the 3 wasn't out at the time, and I knew I wanted the v6. But the navigation being available on the 3 is way cool.
here is a pic of the hatch 6:

 

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Dinu, Glad you posted that link as it explores (and explodes) some of the differences and not-so-real differences.

As far as the basic performance measurements go, the 3S with 2.3L & manual vs the 6i with 2.3L and manual go roughly:

Speed: Slight edge to the 3S, probably .3 seconds in the 0-60
Braking: Same
Skidpad: Maybe a very slight edge to the 3S, but essentially a tie.

So performance wise, there is a little difference, but not much.

Styling, interior layout, exterior size, options, price - these are where the primary differences exist.

It's a legitimate comparison. Just yesterday I was offered an '04 6i with no options for $15,810, which is well down into the 3's price range. My test drive opinion was that the 6i w/manual yielded a smoother, quieter ride with the almost the same performance as a 3S w/manual, and better performance than a 3S w/auto. However I liked the clutch & shifter better in the 3S. I like the hatch option better too, and I believe the 6 hatch is only going to be available as a 6s w/V-6, which will be much pricier.

Only real way to know which you like better is to drive both.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone!

Thanks to everyone who posted replies to my question about the 3 vs. the 6. I get it now & will get the 3 without regrets.

Though I've looked at the (meager) navigation thread, does anyone want to post their experiences with this option? I do a lot of driving where I need a map/directions, etc., so I think this would be worth it for me. I wish I could find an online manual for it, but I can't seem to get any info. on it at all. Anyone want to comment on this?

Again, thanks to all for helping make my decision easier.
 

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Personally I'm all for the 6 - maybe that's because I have one ;)

The 6 has a much, much better suspension (rear especially) and a bit more room inside. It also has one of the most unique headlight clusters out there (4 smaller lights) whereas the 3 has... a relatively standard set (no, no, not the same as anyone elses, but similar).

Mainly, I'd never feel comfortable in something as small as the 3.

That being said, both are great cars.
 

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For me, it was pricing. I had to get a vehicle due to totaling my last vehicle in December.

I prefer the lighting (tailights and headlights) of the 3 over the 6. The red lights don't do it for me compared to the altezza-like 3's lights. Plus, I like the bigger headlight cluster of the 3 to the 6.

The exterior shape (hood and roof styling) is mor sportish on the 3 I think.

I do like the more HP of the 6, but since the 3 is lighter and more aerodynamic, it moves better especially with turns.

If they were the same price, I'd have a hard decision!
 

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For me it was pricing too...

b4 the 3 came out, i was considering the 6 as well...but quite expensive or with no options...

the 3 defiitely is more sporty. As to the suspension, 3's is borrowed from the 6's so i do assume the 3 would have a much better handling than the 6..since 3 is such a lighter car. Steering would also be much more precise going into the corner.

I actually 3's headlight more compared to the 6's as well. We have a big projector low beam housing, which is good. I just dun get the pt where the 6 has 4 lgihts in a row...the fog light integrated there?

It doesn't look nice nor it is useful. The traditional style of having fog lights down at the bumper looks much better.

And also.. i dun like the 6's red-lens tailight. If it is the clear lens then that's much better.

The 3 GT and hatch get that horizontal bar front grille standard and also clear lens tailights.........whereas the 6 only offer them as accessories

The only thing bad i thought was that the windshield is a bit too long... the roof maybe a bit too high?? since i sit very low when driving..

but then again, if the roof not tall enough, then the car will feel too squished-in.

As to the comment about can't drive a compact car like the 3...so chose the 6.............what i gotta tell u is that according the the specs, the 6 only hv a little more room than the 3 in all departments. The legrooms r basically the same, only a little more...but we hv more headroom than the 6 does
 

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For me, the 6 is in the running, but the 3 is still the leader. Since I have yet to drive the 6, I won't compare any driving dynamics.

Pros for the 3:
- Price advantage over the 6, especially if the moonroof is a must have.
- Good exterior styling (sedan).
- Very comfortable seats.
- Real rear headrests.
- Made in Japan.

Cons for the 3:
- Ingress/egress to the rear seats is a tad narrow
- Still a very new car & may have some initial production issues.
- Gimmicky flashing lights when adjusting radio. I heard that this can be turned off (thank goodness).

Pros for the 6:
- Love the exterior styling! While the 3 looks good, I think the 6 looks better.
- A tad roomier than the 3, & a larger trunk (I think).

Con for the 6:
- Busts my budget if I want the moonroof. Even the base will be a few grand over the 3.
- Fake (ie. non-adjustable) rear headrests.
- Wasn't sure about this initially, but now I definitely do not like the silver finish on the radio console.
 

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I just don't get how they can make the 3 in japan and the 6 in US (North Ame ver)..and still 3 being so much cheaper car

cuz as i said...3's styling on the hatch is good. I also dun really like the silver finish of radio console on the 6. I do think the 3's console look much better. The "gimmicky" flashing lights weren't annoying even at night since we can adjust the volume on the steering wheel...u dun even have to look at it.

I am really happy about the electro-luminiscent <--(dunno how to spell that sorry) gauges in the 3....with silver background during sunny day and blue at night. That looks extremely cool.

Dun get me wrong..the 6's exterior styling is also very good. But i really wouldn't say the 6 is a tad roomier than the 3 except that it really can sit 5 ppl whereas the 3 is almost impossible to sit 3 ppl at the back. If only 2 ppl sit at back, it is a very comfortable car actually cuz their legroom/shoulder room etc r not far off.

BTW, is the hatch version's trunk shorter than the sedan's? Does anybody know?
 

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I've looked at both of the cars a number of times as I drive past the Mazda lot a couple of times a week. While I stated above that I like the utility of the 3's hatch, as far as styling goes, the 6 is the clear winner to my eyes. It's the real head-turner of the two - given the right colors and wheels. The 3 hatch looks nice & aggressive, but I wouldn't consider it a very classy design. The sedan has nicer lines, but still like the front end of the 6 better.

I think both are styled nicely to their target audiences, the 3 as a sporty small car to a younger crowd and the 6 as a sports sedan for the 25+ market, where it competes with cars like the Passat. I find the 3 to look nicer than competitors like the Golf and Lancer.

I also don't care much for the titanium finish on the center section of the front dash in the 6. It looks like faux high-tech.
 

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IMO, they are two differnent cars, in two different classes and the reasons for buying one over the other are endless. If I was looking for a mid size sedan, I would have considered the 6... but I wasn't :wink:
 
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